Classic Rock Profiles: Richie Furay


Introduction to Richie Furay

Richie Furay is an American singer and songwriter who was part of the legendary 60s rock group Buffalo Springfield, and also launched a solo career during the 70s music era. When Buffalo Springfield split in 1968, Furay formed a band called Poco, which released a handful of albums. After Poco, Furay formed the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band which was short-lived. Furay experienced a conversion to Christianity and formed the Richie Furay Band, whose songs they performed resonated his new found beliefs. He and his band released a handful of albums including 1976’s I’ve Got a Reason. However, frustrated by the lack of commercial success and excessive touring, he went on a semi-retirement from the music industry, becoming a pastor/minister at a chapel in Colorado. Furay still performs as a solo artist, and occasionally tours with Poco. He still currently plays with the reformed Richie Furay Band, as well as reunited with surviving Buffalo Spring members Neil Young and Stephen Stills in 2010 for the Bridge School Benefit, an annual event held in California. 

Who is Richie Furay?

American singer and songwriter Richie Furay was born Paul Richard Furay on May 9, 1944 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Furay is best remembered as one of the founding members of the bands Buffalo Springfield (with Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin) and Poco (with Jim Messina, Rusty Young, George Grantham and Randy Meisner). He is a Rock and Rall Hall of Fame inductee, being part of Buffalo Springfield who is one of the most influential American rock groups.

Furay with his former bands

At the famous Cafe Au Go Go in New York City, Furay started his music career as one of the members of the nine-piece band the Au Go Go Singers. The band comprised of Furay, Kathy King, Roy Michaels, Nel Gustafson, Rick Geiger, Bob Hamerlink, Jean Gurney, Michael Scott and Stills. Around late 1960’s, Furay decided to form his own band resulting with the country-rock band Poco. There, he was with Rusty Young and Jim Messina, an album producer and later became the occasional bass player of Buffalo Springfield.

After gaining considerable success with Poco, Furay left the band and formed the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Band member Al Perkins introduced Furay to Christianity which helped save his collapsing marriage. Souther-Hillman-Furay Band released their self-titled debut album with the single “Fallin in Love,” which became a Top 30 hit. The album also certified Gold. However, Souther-Hillman-Furay Band was unable to follow up their initial success, and soon they broke up.

Furay later moved to Sugarloaf Mountain, Colorado where he formed another group simply called the Richie Furay Band. In 1976, the band issued the album I’ve Got a Reason which was some sort of a Christian album released on Asylum Records with the help of its founder and owner David Geffen. From then on, Furay became the pioneer of Christian Rock. However the carrier single “I Still Have Dreams” is a secular track and was minor hit it in 1979.

Furay’s later years

Around the early 1980’s, Furay continued to perform as a solo artist and at the same time, he was also a senior pastor of the non-sectarian Calvary Chapel in Bloomfield, Colorado. He sometimes did some occasional shows with Poco as well.

In 2006, Furay embarked on a tour with America and Linda Ronstadt as an opening act. A release of The Heartbeat of Love was issued later on. In 2007, a Richie Furay Band reunion was held in Colorado’s Boulder and Bluebird Theaters. The said reunion was recorded and released as a double CD which entitled ALIVE.

Furay reunited with the other surviving Buffalo Springfield members Stills and Young to play at the 24th annual Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.

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